Render to Caesar
Text: Matthew 22 : 15 - 46
Had the disciples of the chief priests and scribes rendered to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s? The Herodians must have smirked as they heard these words! They may have colluded, but that did not make them good friends.
RENDER TO GOD
The smirk on the faces of the Herodians turned to scowls when Jesus made the next statement. Had the Herodians rendered to God the things that belonged to Him? This statement must have revealed to the Herodians that Jesus had indeed seen through them!
THE SADDUCEES NEXT!
We need to remember that this was a concerted effort to ensnare Jesus by His own words. If there was the slightest slip-up anywhere, they would jump at that opportunity to attack Him even more vigorously.
“The same day the Sadducees, who say
there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying,
‘Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children,
his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring
for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers.
The first died after he had married, and having no offspring,
left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also,
and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also.
Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be?
For they all had her.'”
1. An attempt at using a parable to the Master-Teacher?
If this was an attempt at creating a parable, then it was a miserably flawed attempt. How little they thought of Jesus, if they figured that this foolish story would entrap Jesus!
2. An attempt to emulate Jesus in citing the Scriptures!
The Sadducees began by citing Moses! Since Jesus was always quoting the Scriptures, they figured that they too would use the Scriptures to confound Him!
a) The Levirate marriage principle
Moses did give to Israel such a law! This was deemed necessary to preserve the name and the bloodline of a man.
b) Wrong application
The Sadducees had a hidden agenda. They were trying to prove that they were right in insisting that the Scriptures did not teach the doctrine of the resurrection! Surely the complex hypothetical case they brought up proved the point!
UNIMPRESSED BY THE SADDUCEES
Jesus was not in the least impressed by either the story the Sadducees told, nor by their attempt to apply the Scriptures. Swiftly and without any hesitation, He replied,
“Jesus answered and said to them,
‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures
nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry
nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read
what was spoken to you by God, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”?
God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’
But when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished
at His teaching.”
1. How well did the Sadducees know the Scriptures?
Apparently, they did not know the Scriptures all that well!
a) They did not know how to apply the Scriptures correctly
The Sadducees had tried to apply the Mosaic Scriptures to the context of heaven, when they were only limited to an earthly application!
b) They did not know much about heaven – the abode of God
They had obviously insufficient knowledge of heaven, to think earthly laws could be transferred to the eternal kingdom of God.
c) They did not know the power of God
In the eternal kingdom of God, a new and different order existed! The redeemed who would be in heaven would be like angels! Could God raise the dead? Could God’s power create a different kind of a life in heaven?
2. The doctrine of the Resurrection
a) Rejection of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead
The Sadducees did not believe in the doctrine of the resurrection because they could not find clear and specific Biblical references to this teaching. Thus they rejected the very idea of a resurrection of the dead.
b) Deep discernment needed
Jesus proved the Sadducees wrong! Did they believe in the Mosaic law alone? How would they interpret the words that God spoke to Moses where He declared that He was the God of their forefathers (Cf. Exodus 3:6,15). Of course, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had to be alive! The Lord was a God of the living. The dead do not need to speak of having a God! If they truly accepted the Mosaic Scriptures, then they would have to accept the doctrine of the resurrection too. The Sadducees were defeated too.